22 December 2016
Lulea - a few days in the north of Sweden
So you might wonder why I ended up in the town of Lulea in the north of Sweden, I mean you probably haven't even heard of it. But that's only because it isn't on the tourists radar, it is a university town and doesn’t have the most touristy things to do but I seriously had the absolute best time ever!! I ended up here because my Swedish friend Kajsa (who I spent time with in Croatia, Belgium and The Netherlands) asked if I wanted to join her to stay with some of her friends who were studying there. So of course I said yes, who wouldn't go? Okay, well maybe people who don't like the cold since it is in the sub-zero temps... but still.
So off I went, it took 1 train and 2 buses to cross over from Rovaniemi in Finland to Lulea in Sweden, although it is only a few hours by car the public transport system wasn't so simple. I actually didn't even know if I had made it into Sweden or if I was still in Finland at some point. I actually had to ask someone working at one of the bus stations what country I was in... that is something I'm sure I'll remember for a while! I mean usually it wouldn't make toooo much of a difference, but that one step over the boarder makes a huge difference because not only is it a change in country, but it is a change in currency and time zones too! So within one step, I went back an hour in time (which makes it bloody complicated when planning and booking buses...) Anyways, I made it to Lulea and got to meet my fantastic new friends Cassandra and Arvid.
First task of the evening was to do a little food shop, make dinner and basically just chill and relax while listening to music. Not as bad way to end an evening with new friends!
My second day here, well my first proper day, we decide to go out to the old town of Lulea, or a really old part of it (I can't quite remember) but just imagine very cute stereotypical red wooden Swedish houses in the snow... something that looks like it's from a movie. Well there was a traditional Swedish Christmas market there, so we decided to go and check it out and it was seriously beautiful. You'll just have to look at the pictures below to see what I mean. It was just perfect! Except maybe that it was -15 degrees so after about an hour of wandering around we started to get a little frozen and just wanted to go home and defrost. So after a long wait for the next bus, we started to head home where we decided to build our gingerbread house! See the pictures above for all the fun-ness involved in making that... which was then followed by taco Friday (except it was more like taco Saturday) and a movie night. Again, pretty dam fun! Oh and also note the photo way way below of basically just my face (I know scary! :P ), well that night at like 12 to 1 in the morning we went out to go northern lights hunting... in minus 20 degrees... and although the lights didn't show, it was a very cool experience because a) it was -20 and that was just cool! and b) Cassandra's and my hair literally froze... and so did the fuax fur on my jacket and my scarf too... so now I know what happens to me in very cold climate!
Day 3 of my fun in the North! Today started off very slowly with an amazing brunch of scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, cheese, rye bread, avocado and juice (everything I love!) and then just a slow morning of watching 'Friends' and doing nothing... but it's not so bad when you do nothing with friends. I kind of like that! But in the evening we went to a Swedish church where Cassandra was playing in part of an orchestra where they were playing Christmas carols which was lovely. I mean I understood none of it... since it was all in Swedish but it was lovely. It was then followed by a yum-o dinner, laundry (see the first photo) which wouldn't usually be noteworthy but the machines were kind of broken so we just sat in the laundry room for an hour and then I forgot my laundry basket so we used a toboggan instead (which to me just perfectly depicts my time in the north of Sweden)! Then followed by some more baking (if you cant already tell, we ate very well over those few days) where we made typical Swedish chocolate balls which were literally heaven... when I am back I am making these again for sure! Which was all then followed by an evening session of drifting... and yes it is exactly what it sounds like. Casually at 12 at night we get invited go drifting with some other friends in the snow... I've never gone to speeds up to 160km/h before but it sure is an exciting thing to say that I've done it on iced over roads... don't worry, I survived and no this won't be a new regular weekend activity for me. But it sure as hell was fun!
Day 4, our last day since Kajsa and I were flying out that night to Stockholm. So we went tobogganing, need I say more? Just look at the pictures... we had a BLAST! Ah what fun!! The perfect way to end the best 4 days in Lulea, thank you again Arvid and Cassandra for having us. I literally had the best time ever and miss you already. Can't wait to come back ;)